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PG&E equipment investigated as possible cause of Wine Country Fires




SANTA ROSA, CA - OCTOBER 13: PG&E workers work to repair power lines in the Coffey Park neighborhood following the damage caused by the Tubbs Fire on October 13, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. Twenty four people have died in wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed over 3,500 homes and businesses in several Northern California counties.  (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
SANTA ROSA, CA - OCTOBER 13: PG&E workers work to repair power lines in the Coffey Park neighborhood following the damage caused by the Tubbs Fire on October 13, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. Twenty four people have died in wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed over 3,500 homes and businesses in several Northern California counties. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

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Last month, Northern California was ravaged by wildfires; 43 people died and more than 15,000 homes and businesses were destroyed. But the question remains: What caused these massive fires in the first place? 

Take Two's A Martinez spoke with KQED's Marisa Lagos who has been on the story

Some reports pointed to equipment operated by Pacific Gas and Electric. "We've heard repeated evidence that there were power lines down throughout the region and there were very strong winds that evening," Lagos said. "We've heard that transformers were exploding and people saw power lines arcing. So, from the get-go this has been a key question."

Yesterday, the utility presented its first findings. "They're essentially very short incident reports," explained Lagos. "Mapping out what PG&E has found when they went out in the field, where they found power equipment damage."

PG&E and Cal Fire are continuing their investigations but it may be years until they're concluded. If the utility is found liable, it could have serious ramifications for the company's future. "I think we're really going to be seeing a lot of pressure from lawmakers and other watchdogs as they watch this investigation progress," Lagos added. Already on the radar of legislators like state senator Jerry Hill is making sure rate payers don't catch the brunt of the cost if PG&E is determined to be the culprit. 

To hear the full interview with Marisa Lagos about PG&E's role in the Wine Country Fires, click on the media player above.